DFG Sub-Project: Illegitimate Violence in the French and Austrian Militaries during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1789–1815); Tanja Bührer and Gundula Gahlen (LMU München) (Web)
Venue: Paris Lodron Univ. Salzburg
Proposals by: 14.04.2023
The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815) had a more thorough impact on European history than any other military conflict between the Thirty Years War and the Great War. They raged for more than twenty years throughout almost the whole of Europe as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These global wars, in addition, marked a changing character of warfare that can be roughly characterized as people’s war („Volkskrieg“). The new mass armies were recruited from large strata of the population that was partly driven by patriotic motivation. The conference invites scholars to reflect on specific moments, spaces and agents of excessive military violence in these wars that were perceived in contemporary assessment as illegitimate. The organizers specifically would like to explore the changing yardsticks of legitimacy and illegitimacy of violence and the conditions for their transformation during these wars.
The conference focuses on both violent practices proceeding form members of a collective military agent, and on the associated interpretative discourses. The level of practice scrutinizes violence against regular armies, irregular combatants, civilians, prisoners of war, and internal violence against one ́s own soldiers. The level of discourse analyzes discourses on illegitimate violence led by military and political decision-makers of the war, legal experts and printed media. Read more … (PDF)